More Than Words by Jill Santopolo is a good beachy read, but not as good as her previous work, the light we lost. More Than Words is a romance about Nina Gregory whose father dies and leaves her the family hotel empire. Of course, she learns secrets after his death which threaten her well-being, her relationships, and her sense of purpose. It’s a quick read that flows, but there’s nothing special here. And, while it’s a good summer read, I wouldn’t go out of your way unless you get it cheap for Kindle or from the library.
Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani has been on my to-be-read pile for a long time. It took me a while to get through (my reading has been remarkably slow at this busy time of my work year), but I am glad I stuck with it. It was an enjoyable story about a single pharmacist living in a small town who finds out that her father is not her father. Relationships are at the center of this novel and, while it wasn’t a five-star book, it was certainly a good read.
Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia was a decent mystery, but not something to run out and grab. We first meet Maya, a language therapist, who is treating Lucas. Lucas is in a psychiatric facility because he showed up out of nowhere after being missing (along with his father) for the last ten years. We learn and understand what Maya and Lucas have in common and why she is drawn to him. I kept reading this one because I wanted to find the conclusion to the mystery, but I didn’t love it.
The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin is a family story that switches back and forth from 2074 to the 1980s/90s. The Skinner family loses its patriarch early in the book and the rest of the book describes what happens because of that loss. It’s about sibling relationships, lies, and life choices. I really enjoyed it and read it quickly. I’d add it to your TBR pile.
The Overstory by Richard Powers started off with a bang. And, for the first half, I loved it. However, it dragged from about halfway through until the end. It begins as a bunch of short stories about people and trees. Then the stories begin to intertwine. The initial stories and characters were so interesting, and then the pace just got slower and slower until I found myself racing through to get to the end. Ultimately, I was disappointed in this one, though I give it three stars because it started off so well.
The Red Address Book by Sofia Lundberg was a good WWII read that wasn’t too WWII heavy. 96-year-old Doris lives alone in Sweden. She skypes with her grand-niece, Jenny, her only living friend/relative. Through the novel we learn about Doris’ life through the pages of her address book. It’s a sweet story and a nice, short read. I enjoyed it.
Grab Inheritance by Dani Shapiro immediately if you are looking for a beautiful and heartwrenching book. It’s a fascinating memoir, a quick read, and a unique exploration. Author Dani Shapiro discovers in 2016 that her father is not really her biological father. As she researches her paternity, she grapples with genealogy, parenthood, family, and memory. It’s a wonderful book – in many moments, I found myself in tears.
While I was reluctant to read Mrs. Perfect by Jane Porter – the cover was a little supermarket for me – I came around to it in the end. It begins with an introduction to Taylor Young and her perfect life, marriage, house, children, etc. But, of course, as you could predict, all is not as it seems. When her life is shattered by unexpected news from her husband, she has to build herself and her life back up again. Again, not my usual cup of tea, but a quick and not terrible read.
The Library Book by Susan Orleans (of The Orchid Thief, which I loved), is everywhere. Reese Witherspoon chose it for her book club and the NYT chose it as a best book – I see it all over the place. And, I enjoyed it, but I didn’t LOVE it. It was a bit schizophrenic – all over the place and covering rangy topics in random order – but it was interesting nonetheless. On the surface, it’s the story of the LA Central Library which caught fire in 1986. Embedded in this tale are all kinds of other related library stories. I am not sure what would have made me like it better. Again, it was certainly interesting, but I found myself skimming sections which weren’t really of interest and not loving it as much as I thought I might.
The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker was a great read. I happened to get it in LARGE PRINT so it was also a VERY fast read. It’s about an epidemic of sleep that takes over a small college town in California. I was lucky enough to have the entirety of Sunday to enjoy this one and, boy am I glad I did. Grab it – you’ll like it!